Nail [N] [S]

for fastening.

  • Hebrew yathed, "piercing," a peg or nail of any material ( Ezekiel 15:3 ), more especially a tent-peg ( Exodus 27:19 ; 35:18 ; 38:20 ), with one of which Jael (q.v.) pierced the temples of Sisera ( Judges 4:21 Judges 4:22 ). This word is also used metaphorically ( Zechariah 10:4 ) for a prince or counsellor, just as "the battle-bow" represents a warrior.

  • Masmer, a "point," the usual word for a nail. The words of the wise are compared to "nails fastened by the masters of assemblies" (Eccl 12:11 , A.V.). The Revised Version reads, "as nails well fastened are the words of the masters," etc. Others (as Plumptre) read, "as nails fastened are the masters of assemblies" (Compare Isaiah 22:23 ; Ezra 9:8 ). David prepared nails for the temple ( 1 Chronicles 22:3 ; 2 Chr 3:9 ). The nails by which our Lord was fixed to the cross are mentioned ( John 20:25 ; Colossians 2:14 ).

    Nail of the finger (Heb. tsipporen, "scraping"). To "pare the nails" is in Deuteronomy 21:12 (marg., "make," or "dress," or "suffer to grow") one of the signs of purification, separation from former heathenism (Compare Leviticus 14:8 ; Numbers 8:7 ). In Jeremiah 17:1 this word is rendered "point."

    These dictionary topics are from
    M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition,
    published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.

    [N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
    [S] indicates this entry was also found in Smith's Bible Dictionary

    Bibliography Information

    Easton, Matthew George. "Entry for Nail". "Easton's Bible Dictionary". .

  • Nail. [N] [E]

    1. Of finger. (a) A nail or claw of man or animal. (b) A point or style e.g. for writing; see ( Jeremiah 17:1 )
    2. (a) A nail, ( Isaiah 11:7 ) a stake, ( Isaiah 33:20 ) also a tent-peg. Tent-pegs were usually of wood and of large size; but some times, as was the case with those used to fasten the curtains of the tabernacle of metal. ( Exodus 27:19 ; 38:20 ) (b) A nail, primarily a point. We are told that David prepared iron for the nails to be used in the temple; and as the holy of holies was plated with gold, the nails for fastening the plates were probably of gold.

    [N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
    [E] indicates this entry was also found in Easton's Bible Dictionary

    Bibliography Information

    Smith, William, Dr. "Entry for 'Nail'". "Smith's Bible Dictionary". . 1901.



    (1) As denoting the finger-nail, the Hebrew word is tsipporen (Deuteronomy 21:12), the captive woman "shall shave her head, and pare her nails." The latter was probably intended to prevent her from marring her beauty by scratching her face, an act of self-mutilation oriental women are repeatedly reported to have committed in the agony of their grief. Aramaic Tephar (Daniel 4:33, "his nails like birds' claws"). (2) As pin or peg (for tents, or driven into the wall) the word is yathedh (in Judges 4:21 the Revised Version (British and American), "tent-pin"); in Isaiah 22:23, "a nail in a sure place" is a peg firmly driven into the wall on which something is to be hung (22:24); compare Ecclesiastes 12:11, where the word is masmeroth, cognate with macmer below. (3) For nails of iron (1 Chronicles 22:3) and gold (2 Chronicles 3:9), and in Isaiah 41:7 and Jeremiah 10:4, the word is macmer. (4) In the New Testament the word is helos, used of the nails in Christ's hands (John 20:25), and "to nail" in Colossians 2:14 ("nailing it to the cross") is proseloo.

    In a figurative sense the word is used of the hard point of a stylus or engraving tool:

    "The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, and with the point (literally, "claw," "nail") of a diamond: it is graven upon the tablet of their heart, and upon the horns of your altars" (Jeremiah 17:1).

    James Orr

    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.

    Bibliography Information
    Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'NAIL'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 1915.